''7 Days'' newspaper of Dubai reports extensively on the Armenian Genocide

''7 Days'' newspaper of Dubai reports extensively on the Armenian Genocide

AZAD-HYE (Dubai): ?7 Days? daily English language newspaper is a new addition to Dubai media. It has brought a fresh breathe to the local press, with its openness and willingness to deal with numerous subjects in depth and consideration.

Armenian subjects were abundant in this newspaper from the beginning, as this year coincided with the 90th anniversary of the Genocide and also witnessed developments in the EU-Turkey negotiation process.

On the 1st May 2005 the newspaper published the story of Fethiye Cetin, who discovered the Armenian origin of her grandmother and wrote a book, telling about her efforts to reconcile her Turkish identity with the tragic past.

Read the complete story here

On 11th October 2005, “7 Days” run an extensive report on the Armenian Genocide, titled ?Echoes of Death?. The occasion of the report was the trial of famous Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, who declared to a Swiss newspaper earlier this year, that one million Armenians were killed a century ago and no one in Turkey dares to mention the subject. After giving details about the process of the trial, the newspaper described the Armenian massacres. Here are excerpts followed by comments by three readers:

?On April 24, 1915, the Young Turk government arrested several hundred – or, according to Turkish records, more than two thousand – Armenian intellectuals. It is alleged that most of these were soon executed.

This was quickly followed by orders for the forced evacuation of hundreds of thousands – possibly more than a million – Armenians from across all of Anatolia to Mesopotamia and what is today Syria.

Many went to the Syrian town of Dayr az Zawr and the surrounding desert. It is also claimed that the government did not provide any care for the Armenians during the Exodus, nor when they arrived.

Some records suggest that the Ottoman troops escorting the Armenians not only allowed others, including Turkish and Kurdish bandits, to rob, kill, and rape the Armenians, but often did so themselves.

It is said that during the march, thousands of Armenians died through basic starvation over a lack of food and water. The deaths during the Armenian Exodus are a particular source of anger among Armenians today.

Widespread massacres were reported throughout the Ottoman Empire. In the town of Van, it is said that the governor ordered irregulars to commit crimes and force the Armenians to rebel to justify the encircling of the town by the Ottoman army.

The Venezuelan mercenary, Nogales, who served in the Ottoman army, also reported an order to kill every Armenian male in Van. Turkish authors on the other hand, report an Armenian revolution in Van during the same period.

The Ottoman Empire was also among the first to open so-called concentration camps. Many were along the Turkish border with Syria and Iraq and thousands of Armenians were kept there.

In the 21st century, some governments, including the United States, United Kingdom , and ironically Israel do not officially use the word genocide when describing what happened to the Armenians, although the deaths are not disputed. However, the governments of Argentina, Armenia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Lebanon, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela, do use the phrase?.

See the complete article here

After reading the above article, Syrian Armenian Pakrad Sarkis Balabanian posted the following comment on the website of the “7 Days” newspaper:

“I would like to thank “7 Days” for the article ?Echoes of Death”, Tuesday, 11 October 2005, for presenting the truth in a professional and neutral way. I am sure that lots of Turk residents will get upset, protest and say that your article was biased. But let me tell you something my fellow Turk expatriates. Why do you reject completely the Idea of Genocide? It?s something which you are not accused of, your ancestors did it and we only want you to admit it.

I know that it?s very difficult to imagine or to believe that more than one million Armenians were killed and evacuated, but believe me, we (the new generation) are the living proof of that unfortunate incident. My origin is from ?Antab” in Turkey, but now I have a Syrian nationality and live in Syria, because my grandparents were evacuated by force to Syria and other neighboring countries in very harsh conditions. Many thanks to the Arab countries, which protected and helped us to survive and live in harmony with our Arab brothers.

My great grandmother experienced the exodus in 1914 and she witnessed how the Othman militants killed and tortured lots of Armenian men and women in front of her? We want to forgive you but first please admit the truth to ease our pain?”

The ?Echoes of Death? came to the attention of non-Armenian readers too. On 14th October 2005, two letters to the editor were published, under the title ?Turkey should allow free speech over past?:

The first letter was by N O, a Turk resident of Dubai, who was not able to provide his/her name:

?I wish Turkey had displayed a very democratic attitude in the past and let people talk of their thoughts, experiences and ask their questions freely (we cannot do it today either e.g. author Orhan Pamuk being accused of being a traitor). Our denial comes from successive autocratic regimes Turkey has endured for a long time and which prevented the Turks from “searching the truth” but blindly followed what they were told.

The Armenian massacre has been an ongoing argument between the Turks themselves too. Some Turkish scholars and intellectuals are raising their voice more bravely than other simple citizens who are scared of being persecuted if they ask questions.

Proof is that, as a Turk I can not have my name published. Pakrad, you are not less Turkish than I am, I wish you could come freely to your home country and drop a bunch of flowers to the memory of your ancestors.

Actually I believe this question is not even between the Turks and the Armenians, this is a matter of democracy… If the Armenians could speak freely in Turkey this question would have being nothing but a national one and would be part of our history of grief with a memorial in Anatolia?.

The second letter was from Zeina, Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates:

?Oh my God! When I read the whole article about the Armenian Genocide (“7 Days” October 11) I just felt like crying my eyes out. How can the world ignore this tragedy?

This is genocide with a capital G! How do people define genocide? 1.5 million Armenians died and nobody even talks about it. Come on Turkey, if you are a truly democratic country, you should admit what you have done.

You should apologise to the Armenians and prosecute anybody responsible (if alive). The Armenians have every single right to be angry. And what proof do the Turks want?

Those photos spit out the truth. I felt horrified to see these photos, especially the photo of the starved woman and the kid. And they want to jail Pamuk for what? For trying to spread justice for the victims? It?s outrageous!?